Leeds United took a share of the spoils in a six-goal thriller as they nabbed a point against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
The two sides put on a hugely thrilling and fast-paced encounter, which at one stage looked as if the home side were going to run away with it, having gone into the break 3-2 up.
But Daniel James, leading the line in Patrick Bamford’s absence, spearheaded a solid comeback in the second half.
The Welshman hit the bar soon after his opener before heading home a second seconds before half-time. Diego Llorente fired in the all-important leveller after the Villa defence fluffed a clearance from a corner.
He was one of three players from both sides to be in the running for the ‘Man of the Match’ award but there was an unsung hero from Marcelo Bielsa’s side that deserves plenty of plaudits.
It was arguably the best performance we’ve ever seen from Rodrigo in a Leeds shirt – something that LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross seems to agree with.
‘One of the best displays we have seen from the Spain international in some time.
‘For Leeds to score three away from home without any discernible impact from Raphinha means someone else had to step up. Rodrigo mitigated his friend’s anonymity and proved to be all-action.
He popped up everywhere as an option and then laid on killer passes across the pitch. Never stopped hassling and harrying the Villa defence,’ he wrote.
Indeed, the Spaniard provided a whopping five key passes, which was the most for either side and even usurped that of Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho, who left much of the crowd purring at Villa Park.
This creative display was supplemented with plenty of fight as he also recorded two interceptions and he won 50% of his ground duels, too, as per SofaScore.
The only thing missing really was the goal and had that happened, then he would’ve undoubtedly been in the frame for that MOTM award, alongside James.
LUFCData described the outing as an “excellent display” and it certainly was that.
The £13.5m-rated playmaker really stepped up on a night where Bielsa’s usual standout star, Raphinha, underwhelmed and as such, he deserves his fair share of plaudits.